Organic Summer Food Favorites: Summer Squash Hummus and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Our favorite organic summer recipes

Summer is the season for easy organic cooking. Whipping up a healthy, tasty dinner is often as simple as heading down to the local farmers’ market to see what’s fresh. Here are a couple of quick summer recipes that showcase some of the freshest tastes of the summer (no oven required).

Summer Squash Hummus Dip

Zucchini adds an interesting vegetable twist to this classic dip. It’s also a great substitute for traditional chickpea-based hummus for those who have difficulties digesting beans.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 zucchini, peeled
  • 2 cups sunflower seeds (pre-soaked for 2 to 4 hours)
  • 1/2 cup raw tahini (or 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds, pre-soaked for 3 to 4 hours)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 tsp. Celtic sea salt

Blend garlic, zucchini, sunflower seeds, tahini or sesame seeds, water, olive oil, and sea salt in food processor until creamy. Spread on lettuce leaves and wrap or place on celery sticks and serve.

(Note: Sesame seeds are very high in calcium. If using raw sesame seeds try to find black ones — they have the highest calcium content).

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Market Basil, Cucumber, and Grilled Sourdough

This bright salad captures the brilliant flavors of organic summer produce in a bowl.

Ingredients:

  • 6 heirloom tomatoes (such as German Zebra or Purple Cherokees) cut into 2-inch cubes.
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled, cut lengthwise, and sliced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 12 market basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 loaf sourdough bread
  • 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 oz. red wine vinegar
  • 6 oz. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Cut sourdough bread into 1-inch thick slices and drizzle with 1 ounce of olive oil. Toast the bread in the toaster oven, or throw it on the grill if you're having a barbecue, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove and cool.

Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, basil, and garlic and mix well.

Cut toasted bread into 1-inch cubes. Add to tomato mixture. Add pepper flakes.

Combine vinegar and olive oil in a small cup or bowl with a lid (a disposable coffee cup and lid works great). Shake vigorously to combine. Add to salad mixture.

Season with salt and pepper and allow salad to marinate for about 1 hour before eating. It gets better with time. Serve in bowls with a little drizzle of olive oil to finish.

Excerpted with permission from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Organic Living by Eliza Sarasohn with Sonia Weiss.   

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